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How distracted drivers often cause bike and pedestrian crashes

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents

Walking and biking are both popular forms of transportation in New York, and they are both healthy options. Unfortunately, the risks caused by drivers counteract some of the health benefits of walking and cycling around the city. 

Cyclists and pedestrians learn early that they need to be proactive about watching for irresponsible drivers so that they don’t end up a statistic or coping with a severe injury. As distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions in New York and across the United States, cyclists and pedestrians have seen their risk for possibly fatal crashes increase. 

Why are distracted drivers so dangerous for people walking or on bikes?

Distracted drivers try to muddle through too much at once

Drivers staring down at their phones or singing along to the radio are only half engaged in the task of managing their vehicles safely. Their division of attention means that they may be able to temporarily follow the flow of traffic as though they were paying attention. However, they may not notice sudden changes in front of them in time to react. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone traveling at 55 miles per hour while texting is a wheel would travel the length of a football field in the five seconds they take to type out a message. If there is a cyclist or pedestrian anywhere in front of the distracted driver, they may not notice them – despite ostensibly following the flow of traffic. 

Distracted drivers take many things for granted, and they pass the risk on to others sharing the road with them. Realizing that you only have to encounter one distracted driver to experience a life-altering crash as a cyclist or pedestrian might help you better embrace safety practices for your own protection.

 

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